Ephesians 5:1-7,8-21.

"We Have A New Walk"

We shouldn't stoop so low into the world's ways anymore. Be imitators of God--not other people. Reflect Him to the extent that people see God in your life. To imitate God we need to look at how Jesus lived. Paul gives some pointers in verse 2 of Ephesians 5. Point 1: "and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." We must walk in love, love for others. In many aspects of our love, we find that others may do what we may not. The burnt offering pictures complete sacrifice to God. That is what Jesus did for us. Point 2: The second point Paul brings out is that we must walk in purity, living a life of purity. Verses 3-7, "But among you there must not even be a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them." The Bible teaches us what to do with these things in your life. We as Christians have a high calling. Don't degrade your body and mind. I Thessalonians 4:1-8,11-12. "Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit…Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, jus as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." James 1:26-27. "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Point 3: God will show you what you really are as a first step to purifying you. James 1:22-25. "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does." As Pastor Chuck Smith was saying about the law of God, by looking at it, it shows us where the sin is, for sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). And then when we see the sin in our lives we go to Jesus for help to overcome the sin we have discovered by looking at God's law. Jesus through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit helps us to overcome the sin in our lives. The law all by itself, coupled to our own human efforts will never cure us of the sin. Jesus must do it in us by the Holy Spirit. The law is important and we must keep it, but we can only keep it in and through Jesus in us by the Holy Spirit. We're not under grace so that sin can abound. Paul say's to that idea, "God forbid!" Romans 6:1-2. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who are dead to sin live any longer in it?" We're not under grace so we can continue in sin, habitual sin, but we're under grace so that we can be overcoming our habitual sinning under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit who is working in us to perform God's will. It's not how high we jump for God. God says if you want holiness, obey me.

Follow Joseph's example. Genesis 39:1-20. "Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So he left in Joseph's care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.

Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master's wife took notice of Joseph and said, "Come to bed with me!" But he refused. "With me in charge," he told her, "my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?" And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.

One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, "Come to bed with me!" But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.

When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. "Look," she said to them, "this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house."

She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. Then she told him this story: "That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house."

When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, "This is how your slave treated me," he burned with anger. Joseph's master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined."

We as Christians aren't sinless, but as we walk with Jesus we should sin less, and less, and less and less.

Ephesians 5:5-6, "For this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient." Those that live habitually in sin and immorality will not inherit eternal life. We must walk as children of light. The light of the Lord shows you what is pleasing to the Lord and what isn't. Verses 8-14, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: 'Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'" Joseph knew that God's eye was on him all the time. The most important part of personal evangelism is how we live our lives. People should see you as different. Verse 15-21, "Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Be filled with the Spirit means being yielded to God's Spirit. Being filled makes us want to sing praises and hymns. It makes us thankful, vs. 20. It makes us rightly submissive to others, vs. 21.

1 John 1:5-7. "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness [i.e. habitual sin], we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin."